What is the role of CT scanning in the diagnosis of peritonsillar abscess (PTA)?

Updated: Apr 06, 2020
  • Author: Udayan K Shah, MD, FACS, FAAP; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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In cases of peritonsillar abscess (PTA), CT scanning with contrast is indicated in general [13] for unusual presentations (eg, an inferior pole abscess) and for patients at high risk for drainage procedures (eg, patients with coagulopathy or anesthetic risk).

CT scanning may be used to guide needle aspiration for draining PTAs after an unsuccessful surgical attempt and for draining abscesses that are located in unusual locations and are anticipated to be difficult to reach with standard surgical approaches. Hatch and Wu mentioned ultrasonography as another means of guidance in PTA drainage. [14]

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